Obviously these are guys that should be considered in 14-team leagues or deeper (Justin Bour MIGHT fly in a 12-team league, time will tell). I don’t recommend any smaller. No need to get fancy.
Justin Bour (26.5% owned ESPN)
The Boar (that's just too good of a nickname) is absolutely feeling himself right now. He’s slashing .344/.421/.750 over the past half-month and has 5 HR in 30 games to start the season. We know the power is for real after hitting 23 bombs in 130 games last year. We know he hits behind Giancarlo. And we know he’s in a pretty decent line up overall and will net him plenty of RBI opportunities. The Marlin’s 1B should already be on your radar if you don’t have a quality 1B or have a fringy-one that is in a slump.
I’d start Bour over the likes of; Zimmerman, Moss, Jaso, and Teixeira. All four are higher owned than him and shouldn’t be, by my calculations. Give him a shot, he has a good number of games coming up against righties (all 6 games next week) which he has owned in his MLB career. He’s a career .275/.338/.498 vs RHP with 29 HR and 90 RBI in 545 PA. That’s pretty damn good.
Aaron Hicks (1.8% owned ESPN)
Hopes were high to start the new season with a fresh start on a new ball club. Rightfully so, he was once a #14 overall pick back in 2008 out of high school. He has a great home park now and will be the everyday LF for the Yanks mainly due to his incredible knack for plus-defense. He’s very lightly owned and should be a good OF4 to play until he falls back into a slump. Hicks is streaky. Don’t expect him to keep this up for too long. My suggestion is to pick him up while the signs show he is building steam and ride it out.
Hicks has always been a streaky guy, and right now he looks like he’s catching a bit of fire. For the month of May, Hicks has hit .281 with 9 hits in 10 games including 2 HR. Those numbers don't pop out, I know. But obviously, I am bullish on Hicks or else I wouldn’t be recommending him. I believe he can step his game up to the next level and be productive for a month or so as we saw him do last July when he put up an absurd 168 wRC+.
Remember: fantasy is about having the best stats week-in-week-out, it’s not always about having the so-called "safe bets". If you can see trends and exploit them, you can really move up in the standings. Those "safe bet" players have down weeks too. Fill in some of those bad weeks with a hot week (or month) from Aaron Hicks.
Melvin Upton Jr. (12.5% owned ESPN)
In April I wrote about Melvin and his resurgence stemming from the second half of last year. He’s been a solid OF4 in deeper leagues to start the season and will continue to be. I like his 3% jump in BB% this year and his spot in the batting order (either 4th or 5th depending on the matchup, but mainly clean-up).
Since the 2015 All-Star break, Melvin has a wRC+ of 113 to go along with a respectable .346 OBP. He has turned up his SB output so far in 2016, stealing six bases in nine attempts. It’s a good sign that San Diego is not shy about attempting steals (ranked 5th in the NL). They really have to, in a sense, considering they have hit .234 as a team this year. That shoddy average obviously doesn’t help score runs, but stealing bases ups their chances, and I’m sure Andy Green realizes that. I expect Melvin to continue to have the green light.
Upton will obviously net you some steals and he won’t really hurt you in one specific category (maybe BA; he hit .260 in 2015 and he has the potential to continue that). With that being said, he’s been having a great recent stretch and has tallied 4 HR and 6 SB to start the year. The once-upon-a-time 19-year-old rookie of the Devil Rays is still viable in some deep leagues. Grab him if you need OF help. He’s one of the best available options.